Page 4, 4th September 1992

4th September 1992
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Page 4, 4th September 1992 — The liturgy should speak to us all
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The liturgy should speak to us all

I WRITE in repsonse to your editorial on the liturgy (Catholic Herald, August 14).

You write: "To hope that liturgical reform can mould the existing Church into a welcoming home for feminists and environmentalists is shortsighted..." I am sorry that you view the proposed changes in our liturgy as only relevant to women and people who have become aware of the need to protect our environment. I had thought the new wording might be inclusive but it seems it will still exclude some people!

I feel that you also view the proposed changes with reference to the liturgy of the Word only.

"Finally, before thinking of changing the liturgy, why not ask ourselves its purpose in our lives ... For so many of us, to step into church is to undertake the age-old search for...'the quiet after the storm'": surely most of us go to church for assurance that there is more to life than life on earth?

We go, too, for affirmation of the death and resurrection of Jesus; for community: for the reassurance that we are not alone; and as my husband to talk to God. Prayers such as the Creed with its sentence of "for us men and for our Salvation" are easily translated into "for us and for our salvation" and can then be easily understood as including everyone.

Meaningless platitudes of prayers and readings taken from Scripture seemingly at random are not alive and do not say anything to anyone.

The Eucharistic Prayers are long and wordy and surely worthy of some precise work on them. For example, "all committed Christians" could cover the present long list of titles used.

Try reading objectively through all of the liturgy and view it with the eyes of the young who are staying away from our Churches in everrincreasing numbers.

Read it with the eyes of women, the eyes of the poor and not so well-educated, the simple and straight thinkers.

Liturgy has to be relevant. It has to be alive. It also has to be easily understood by everyy'one.

Joanna Towner Copthorne




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